UFC on ESPN 30 Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze
Ready for Barboza vs Chikadze Free UFC on ESPN 30 Pick and betting odds & predictions? Here is a full breakdown of the leadup, what to expect during the fight, and some logical outcomes.
Event: UFC on ESPN 30: Barboza vs. Chikadze
Date: August 28th, 2021
Time: Main Card: 7 P.M. PST.
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
Main Event: Edson Barboza (-120) vs Giga Chikadze (+100)
This will be #9 ranked Edson Barboza’s 4th fight since moving to featherweight. He comes into this one on the heels of a victory and Fight of the Night performance at UFC 262 when he knocked out Shane Burgos 1:16 into the 3rd round. He earned a unanimous decision over Makwan Amirkhani in his previous fight in Abu Dhabi last October.
His featherweight debut came 5 months earlier when he dropped a split decision to the current #8 ranked Dan Ige.
Prior to his recent 2-fight win streak, Barboza had dropped 5 of 6. After dropping 4 of his last 5 at lightweight, he made the decision to drop to 145lbs.
#10 ranked Giga Chikadze was submitted on the 10th season of Dana White’s Contender series but found his way into the promotion after two wins in under a minute for the Gladiator Challenge promotion. He made his UFC debut in September of 2019 and has promptly strung together 6 straight victories.
Easily the most notable of those wins came in May when he KO’d Cub Swanson in just over a minute, earning himself a Fight of the Night bonus in the process.
Giga Chikadze was awarded the “2020 Under the Radar Fighter of the Year” by MMAJunkie and that was before he knocked out Swanson. I’m taking him as a slight underdog to win this fight.
MMA Betting Prediction: Giga Chikadze (+100)
Bryan Battle (-182) vs Gilbert Urbina (+138)
The finals of the Ultimate Fighter Season 29 middleweight tournament will see Bryan “Pooh Bear” Battle take on Gilbert Urbina. Tresean Gore actually defeated Urbina in the semi-finals of the tournament, but a knee injury forced him off the card and gives Urbina a shot to face Battle in the finals.
Urbina’s loss in the semi-finals to Gore was the first time he’s been finished and it’s always interesting to see how fighters respond to that. The Jackson-Wink fighter only has one other loss on his record when he dropped a decision to Sean Brady in 2018.
Despite having lost in the semi-finals, I’m putting my money on Gilbert Urbina here. Both guys are in their mid-20s, have similar records, and have been on similar trajectories. Urbina has the more experienced coaching team behind him, however, and that could be all the difference here.
MMA Betting Prediction: Gilbert Urbina (+135)
Brady Hiestand (+140) vs Ricky Turcios (-170)
The finals of the Ultimate Fighter Season 29 bantamweight tournament will see Brady Hiestand take on Ricky Turcios.
The 22-year-old Hiestand made his pro-debut in the summer of 2018 and has put together a 5-1 record since then. He’s finished all but one of his victories. His only loss thus far came in November of 2019 when he was knocked out by Chad Anheliger.
“Pretty” Ricky Turcios is a 28-year-old Team Alpha Male product who comes into this one with a 10-2 record. He’d dropped 2 out of his last 4 before joining the cast of the Ultimate Fighter, however.
Hiestand was apparently fighting through a strained meniscus during TUF. Now that he’s fully healthy, I like him to win the bantamweight final here.
MMA Betting Prediction: Brady Hiestand (+140)
Kevin Lee (-130) vs Daniel Rodriguez (+110)
Tristar’s Kevin Lee is trying to keep it together at lightweight despite dropping 4 of his last 6. Those losses have been to top fighters, however, including Charles Oliveira in his last bout. This is going to be his first time in the cage since March 2020, however, so it’s not clear how he’s going to look.
Daniel Rodriguez made his UFC debut in February of 2020 and has managed a 5-1 record since then. The 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu product will be looking to keep his hot streak going, and I think he probably will.
MMA Betting Prediction: Daniel Rodriguez (+110)
Michael Gilmore (+370) vs Andre Petroski (-465)
Both of these fighters will make their UFC debut on Saturday. “Gentleman” Michael Gilmore comes into this one on a 3-fight win streak and a 6-3 record overall.
As for Petroski, the heavy favorite actually will be making his UFC debut coming off a loss. He dropped his last fight to Aaron Jeffrey on an LFA show last October. Prior to that, he was on a 5-fight win streak. I like Petroski to get back in the win column against Gilmore here.
MMA Betting Prediction: Andre Petroski (-465)
Gerald Meerschaert (+260) vs Makhmud Muradov (-350)
The grizzled veteran of 46 fights Geral Meerschaert comes into this one having dropped 5 of his last 8. He picked up a 1st round submission victory over Bartosz Fabinski in his last fight back in April, however.
As for Muradov, the 31-year-old from Uzbekistan has been on quite the run. He’s won 14 straight including his last 3 in the UFC. I’m expecting him to keep that streak going on Saturday.
MMA Betting Prediction: Makhmud Muradov (-350)